Dr. Gord Heath, Professor of Christian History, reflects on Martin Luther’s Response to the Plague with Two Lessons for Those in Theological Education today on his latest blog post dated April 13, 2020. Read the full post here.
By the early 1520s, Martin Luther (1483-1546) was a famous theologian in a new university at Wittenberg. He had achieved what most professors long for; adoring students, over-flowing classes, best-selling written works, rock-star status among the German populace, and a continent-wide reputation for innovative reforms. Love him or hate him, he had become one of the most important intellectuals of his day, rivalling and perhaps even dethroning the great Desiderius Erasmus.
Like many professors he had countless responsibilities, and his fame added to the burdens of his daily regimen. What could have killed him was the plague that struck in 1527. A pastor named Johann Hess wrote him for advice on whether or not Christians could flee from the plague, and Luther eventually responded. And in his response there are a few lessons for professors today.